Jordan Leaving Reed Smith to Serve as PNC General Counsel
Longtime Reed Smith global managing partner Gregory B. Jordan is leaving the firm to serve as general counsel of PNC Financial Services Group, the firm announced Thursday.
Washington, D.C.-based partner Alexander "Sandy" Thomas, who has most recently led the firm's litigation department, has taken over for Jordan as head of Reed Smith. Jordan will start in his new role October 15.
Jordan's departure comes about a year after he was elected to another three-year term as managing partner of Reed Smith — where he was slated to lead the firm into 2015 — and follows a 12-year tenure at the helm of a firm he helped transform from a regional shop to a global powerhouse.
Jordan will now serve as executive vice president, general counsel and head of regulatory and government affairs at PNC. He will also have responsibility for the PNC Foundation and the Corporate Ethics Office. Jordan will join the company's executive committee and report directly to new PNC Chief Executive Officer William Demchak, who was named president of PNC in April 2012 and CEO in April 2013.
Jordan is filling the role of former General Counsel Robert Hoyt, who left the post after 16 months to join U.K. bank Barclays. Hoyt had taken over for longtime PNC General Counsel Helen Pudlin, who retired in 2012.
Reed Smith has for years organized itself around key industry groups, with the financial services industry group being the largest. And the Pittsburgh-based law firm has long counted Pittsburgh-based PNC as a key client.
Jordan said Demchak personally recruited him after Hoyt resigned. While Jordan, 54, said he wasn't thinking about leaving Reed Smith, he knew he wanted to eventually do something else and the timing was right for both the firm and him personally. He said Reed Smith is on pace to have another record year and has had a 12-month span of successful growth, including opening offices in Houston and Singapore.
Jordan spent 200 days a year traveling to meet with various firm clients, a number of which were in the financial services sector. He said he will bring those relationships, as well as his leadership experience, to his new role.
While the timing of Jordan's departure may have surprised the firm, he said, his suggestion that Thomas take over was not surprising.
"People knew that's how I felt," Jordan said.